However this has not always been the case. In the past I was filled with guilt when I made my friends choose places to eat or cook around my dietary preferences. They did not seem to understand that I just can't handle eating certain foods. I would often be looked at in disgust as I ate the toppings off pizza, or the fillings in sandwiches, leaving behind the doughy and refined crust or bread. When I started dating my current partner I felt ashamed of my dietary preferences and hid them at first, because who wants to be seen as that crazy girl who only eats salad when on a date?! So I gave in and ate whatever I felt like for a few months ignoring my normal food bans. And do you know what? I got fat. Well not fat fat but a little pudgy. No one admitted it to me but I did. Since being in a relationship, the weight kept slowly creeping on and before I knew it I was looking a little rounder and softer than before and my clothes were significantly tighter. After seeing photos of myself from earlier this year I knew I had to refine my diet once again. I told William we were no longer eating sugar and my black list of foods was back and in force! And guess what? Not surprisingly I lost weight.
It is for that reason I am not sorry I have strict and bizarre dietary habits. While I am happy to on occasion have the special sweet treat, generally I will not eat refined sugar, bread, pasta or rice. I am not sorry that I will massacre my slice of pizza or pick out the noodles from a stir-fry. These habits allow me to feel comfortable in my own skin and force me to eat foods which are nutrient dense and better for me. A gluten-free and refined sugar free diet has also left me feeling so much better, less bloated and with far more energy.
However I still like to eat lots of food, just good food, like this healthy pizza.
And how they did! My taste buds were delighted on Monday night when introduced to this Cauliflower Crust Steak Pizza. While I changed the healthy foodies recipe slightly, it still resulted in a firm crusted pizza that I was able to pick up with my hand. The base was moist and flavourful, and unlike pizza dough was refreshingly light, which I felt complimented the hearty and tender scotch fillet steak perfectly. The pizza was also greeted with as much enthusiasm from the boyfriend, who although acknowledged the taste and texture was different to normal pizza, said it was delicious nevertheless.
The pizza base is paleo, gluten-free, low carb, protein rich and nutritious. So basically everything that regular pizza dough is not. However most importantly it tastes great and would work with any topping your heart desires. Go on and try it, I assure you that you will be pleasantly surprised :)
Healthy Low Carb Pizza Crust
Adapted from The Healthie Foodie
1/2 head cauliflower
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp horseradish
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp fresh parsley
3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp granulated stevia or honey
Salt and pepper to season
1. Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Celsius (410F). Line a pizza pan with baking paper and place it in the oven to warm up.
2. Chop the cauliflower into small florets and place in a food processor. Blitz on high until the cauliflower resembles small 'rice' like particles. Do not over process as you do not want the mixture to turn into a puree!
3. Remove the cauliflower crumbs from the food processor and place in a small microwave safe bowl. Place a damp piece of paper towel on top of the mixture and microwave for 5 minutes, until the cauliflower is soft. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes before using either paper towel or a tea towel to squeeze out excess moisture from the cauliflower.
4. Add the mustard, horseradish, eggs, chia seeds, parsley, stevia, almond meal, coconut flour and seasoning to the cauliflower crumbs and mix to combine. Depending on how much moisture you were able to squeeze out, you may need to add more or less almond meal/coconut flour to the mixture to achieve a wet dough-like mixture.
5. Once your dough has reached a moist yet thick and semi-firm texture, remove the hot pan from the oven and place the wet dough on the prepared pan, spreading it out so it covers the entire base of the pizza pan evenly. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 20-25 min until golden brown.
6. Once cooked remove the pizza from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before topping with desired ingredients. I made a tomato base by mixing tomato paste with some Dijon mustard, crushed garlic and dried Italian herbs, spread it with a pastry brush across the pizza and then topped it with baby spinach, seared scotch fillet steak, mozzarella cheese, homemade sugar-free BBQ sauce and fresh parsley. I then placed the pizza back in the oven and baked for 10 minutes. Once you remove your pizza from the oven allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy :)